Content has always served as a vital component of online marketing. In today’s image-driven world, multimedia content such as photos, videos, infographics and even GIFs are becoming increasingly important ways of connecting with users via digital platforms.
In 2014, Tony Hail of web analytics firm Chartbeat found that 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website. With image-based content becoming increasingly popular, it is believed that people spend even less time on websites now. The saying “a picture tells a thousand words” is particularly relevant in today’s online marketing climate. One image can communicate the substance of an article to readers more effectively than masses of text.
A brand or company using strong images within blog posts, web pages and even press releases, will increase user engagement, Clicks, conversations and time spent on the page in question will also rise.
JPEGs are generally seen as the most useful formats for online images. It is also important to note, however, that PNG formats and GIFs can serve as fun, visual means through which readers can engage with a company’s brand more effectively.
With infographics, firms can utilise relevant industry information and data in a format which readers find easy to engage with. Infographics can also be repurposed and disseminated throughout social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, heightening user engagement with the information.
Over time, text can become outdated or even irrelevant. In contrast, infographics remain relevant over a longer period of time, allowing them to be utilised as a valuable online marketing tool long-term. Statistics quoted by Ad Week show that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, while colour images raise a user’s willingness to read content by 80%. In other words, readers find it easier to comprehend complex information when presented in infographic form.
Data from Cisco suggests that by 2017, video will account for 69% of all online consumer traffic. This makes sense in light of the fact that YouTube sees more than a billion unique visitors per month, the most of any video sharing platform. Facebook, the second-most frequently utilised video-sharing channel, also possesses a large volume of video and interactive content. This indicates that these platforms are becoming increasingly vital online marketing tools.
Increasingly, users can now view videos directly via social media apps. When companies post videos to sites such as YouTube, Daily Motion and Vimeo via social media, they can increase audience engagement with their multimedia content strategy. It is also important to point out that if videos are posted alongside text, they can point users towards a firm’s blog posts, increasing traffic to digital assets, so they can serve as valuable content marketing tools.
Comparing multimedia platforms
In order to understand the effectiveness of multimedia content, it is important to examine how platforms such as Snapchat, Vine and Periscope can be used in different ways to engage with users. Let’s take Vine, a six second clip sharing channel which is owned and promoted by Twitter.
Strong, creative ideas are the key to succeeding with Vine. The platform provides firms with time restrictions and modest budgets, with the opportunity to engage with users via video effectively. In contrast, the Snapchat platform is becoming increasingly popular with larger brands. Snapchat has a number of features such as stories, filters and now face swaps which provide brands with the means to develop innovative, engaging content marketing campaigns.
Periscope caught the attention of a number of brands instantaneously when it launched in March 2015. These companies were drawn to Periscope by its live broadcasting format, which provides users with 24 hours to view streams and interact with other users across the planet in real time. Twitter has released guidelines detailing how best to use Periscope, ensuring brands have the knowledge necessary to turn this unique platform to their advantage.
How do big brands use multimedia?
Big brands are increasingly using a variety of multimedia channels to communicate with consumers and provide access to exclusive, never-before-seen content which is then shared across social media channels. This strategy was deployed effectively at the 2016 Met Gala, an annual fundraising event for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, which is traditionally held on the first Monday in May.
The Met Gala is one of the fashion industry’s biggest events, famous for its Oscar-style red carpet and its ability to attract some of the most famous celebrities. The Huffington Post describes the Met Gala as a very exclusive event, with tickets costing as much as US$30,000. In 2016 the Met Gala was opened live through Snapchat for the first time in history, with stars such as Madonna, Kendall Jenner and Marc Jacobs interacting with fans via the app. This strategy significantly increased the Gala’s press coverage and made the event more relevant to diverse, younger viewers.
The effectiveness of multimedia marketing can also be seen with Netflix’s new outdoor advertising campaign. Netflix encouraged fans to take selfies and face swap with posters of characters from their flagship shows such as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards to promote these programmes’ latest seasons. This strategy proved effective, as fans flocked to social media to share face swapped images of themselves as their favourite Netflix characters.
Attracting new audiences
By using multimedia content, companies can strengthen their reputation online. These tools can raise user engagement and increase their brand presence online. It is important to note, however, that businesses often neglect social media when creating a multimedia-driven content marketing strategy.
It is vital that when adopting this approach, companies strive to understand where their audiences spend time online and the variety of digital channels available. If firms communicate with users via different social networking mediums, they can expand their readership base and branch out into new markets. The 2016 Met Gala showed that by utilising multimedia, in this instance Snapchat, a branded event can broaden its appeal and inspire a new generation to serve as its brand ambassadors.